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Road to Indy back for 2023 TRS graduates

A career in US single seater racing could once again be a little easier for graduates of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series as the championship has renewed its partnership agreement with the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires programme.

Drivers who compete in all five rounds of the 2023 or 2024 Castrol Toyota Racing Series (TRS) will automatically qualify for a package that could help them get established in the programme.

This will include free entry for either the annual two day spring training test or the two day Road to Indy Fall combine test along with a free set of tyres for a test in either USF Juniors, USF2000 or Indy Pro 2000. Similarly, up to nine drivers who have completed at least 75% of the rounds in either USF Juniors, USF2000 or Indy Pro 2000 will receive a waived $7,500 NZD entry fee for the full TRS championship.

It’s the third year of the partnership, which has helped stateside doors open for TRS graduates including Billy Frazer and Peter Vodanovich.

“A significant number of high quality drivers coming up through the ranks are targeting careers in the USA and ultimately a drive in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES,” explained TOYOTA GAZOO Racing New Zealand Motorsport Manager Nicolas Caillol.

“The Road to Indy is an established programme with outstanding results and it recognises that a series like TRS is a world class way for young drivers to develop on that pathway. The success of our graduates and the relevance of competing in New Zealand is always at the forefront of our plans and it’s great to be in partnership with the Road to Indy once again.”

Since its launch in 2010, the Road to Indy ladder system has attracted competitors from all over the motorsport world and both TGRNZ and Anderson Promotions which runs the Road to Indy programme are keen to put the effects of the pandemic behind them.

“The pandemic impacted our initial partnership due to international travel restrictions, and we look forward to bringing this program back online,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions.

“TRS attracts drivers from around the globe and it’s an excellent training ground during our off-season with plenty of track time and great competition – a perfect precursor to our Spring Training and 2023 calendar kick-off.

“It also allows us to introduce drivers to the Road to Indy with two-day events at either our Fall Combine or Spring Training open tests on whichever level of the ladder is appropriate for them.”

The programme – sanctioned by USAC – has seen drivers from more than 25 countries compete in the United States junior single seater categories on a mix of road courses, temporary street circuits and ovals.

The Road to Indy will be of greater interest in 2023 as next season will mark the first full international TRS championship since the pandemic began in 2020.

The championship will feature two rounds in the South Island and three in the North Island. The date of the 67th New Zealand Grand Prix – which remains as the centrepiece of the championship trail and one of only two non-F1 Grand Prix events recognised by the FIA – is still to be confirmed.

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